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Fishery Scientist

Closing Date: Open until filled.

The Fishery Scientist works with a team of scientists, biologists, and technicians who conduct research to promote riverine ecosystem recovery in accordance with the organization’s fish restoration plan, Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit. The primary goal of this plan is to restore anadromous fish populations within the rivers and streams that support the historical cultural and economic practices of the four CRITFC member tribes.

This position is with CRITFC’s Habitat Program, one of four groups within CRITFC’s Fishery Science Department. The mission of the Habitat Program is to evaluate salmonid and stream ecosystem response to conservation measures and environmental stressors in the Columbia River basin. Specifically, this program develops landscape-scale analyses linking watershed conditions to riverine habitat conditions, relates habitat conditions to life stage-specific abundance, growth, or survival of salmonids, and uses these analyses as inputs to life cycle models. The group additionally utilizes remote sensing technology to evaluate fish habitat (e.g., UAS, LiDAR), evaluates the role of food webs in juvenile salmon productivity, and assesses river ecosystems using various other physical and biotic approaches (e.g., geomorphology, hydrology, riparian vegetation, and aquatic invertebrates).

CRITFC offers competitive compensation and an exceptional benefits package, including medical, dental, 401(k), 8 hours of vacation accrued each month (to start), 12 paid holidays, and paid sick time. We provide professional development opportunities, promote from within, and have a Native hiring preference as part of our commitment to our people. As a result, you will find a work environment that supports and inspires our shared goals of protecting the natural world and the tribal cultural connection to it.

Position Details

Department: Fishery Science

Classification: Full time, 40 hours/week

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, typically 8 am to 5 pm with a one hour unpaid lunch

Salary: $81,664 – $89,832/year

Location: Portland, Oregon

Closing Date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Contact Casey Justice, Senior Fishery Scientist/Habitat Group Lead, if you would like to ask questions or discuss the position informally before you submit an application.


  • Contribute as a team member to CRITFC’s research program focused on evaluating factors limiting salmonid populations in the Columbia River basin. Develop innovative solutions to restoring and evaluating riverine habitat and biota.
  • Assist with development of research project proposals including writing statements of work and budgets.
  • Develop research study designs/sampling plans, work schedules, and protocols.
  • Conduct field research addressing key knowledge gaps related to recovery of anadromous fishes in the Columbia River basin.
  • Analyze fish and environmental data using basic and advanced statistical approaches.
  • Share supervision of less experienced project staff including a Fishery Biologist, and seasonal Fishery Technicians.
  • Provide technical support to tribal staff on fish/stream/river ecology.
  • Participate in interagency and regional work groups to advance the understanding and implementation of stream ecosystem restoration and fish ecology.
  • Further the science of the Columbia River basin ecosystem by publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and presenting research findings at professional meetings.
  • Coordinate closely with local landowners, watershed councils, tribes, states, and federal officials.


  • Masters or PhD degree is required. A Bachelor’s degree with a strong peer reviewed publication record may substitute for a graduate degree.
  • Three years’ experience in fisheries, biology, or aquatic ecology science, including responsibility for experimental design, data analysis, drawing conclusions, and developing recommendations.
  • Strong field experience, ideally in monitoring fish ecology, fish habitat, or aquatic ecosystem health.
  • Publication record of articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Expert level knowledge of analytical programs such as R and GIS.
  • Strong statistical modeling competency including general linear modeling (e.g., multiple linear regression, ANOVA, logistic regression). Familiarity with additional, more advanced statistical procedures is preferred.
  • Knowledge of aquatic habitat evaluation and monitoring techniques, (e.g., Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP), Action Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AEM), Oregon’s Aquatic Inventories Program (AIP), or other standardized national or regional protocols).
  • Thorough knowledge of techniques to evaluate aquatic biota (e.g., Pacific Northwest freshwater species identification, fish snorkel surveys, electrofishing, seining, and aquatic invertebrate sampling).
  • Familiarity with the use of remote sensing applications for fish habitat or river health assessments (e.g., UAS, LiDAR, satellite imagery).
  • Expertise in distilling complex scientific data into understandable and useful information for policy makers and other partners.
  • Familiarity with co-manager (i.e., federal, state, or tribal) recovery plans and restoration prioritization programs.
  • Enrolled membership in a tribal organization or a strong desire to be of service to a tribal organization. Knowledge of or dedication to learn tribal history and customs of CRITFC’s four member tribes.


This role reports to the Senior Fishery Scientist / Habitat Group Leader. This role will provide shared supervision and mentoring of biologists, seasonal technicians, or interns.

Working Conditions

This position is frequently sedentary work in an office setting. However, day or overnight travel is required regularly during the field seasons (June to October) and to meetings and conferences in the off season. Week-long field hitches to remote field sites in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are required each field season. Fieldwork involves difficult outdoor conditions, including extreme heat or cold, wading and snorkeling in rivers, and exposure to insects.

CRITFC Motor Vehicle Policy

This job frequently requires driving a CRITFC vehicle or your own vehicle for business (mileage compensated), and therefore you must be able to meet the terms of the CRITFC Motor Vehicle policy. Per the policy, applicants are required to have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record for the past three years. This includes a three-year record clear of the following:

  • Reckless Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Suspension or revoked license
  • No more than two at-fault accidents
  • One major violation or two minor violations.

Application Procedure

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) requires all new employees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first day of employment.

To apply, submit the following:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter
  3. Two recent writing samples (primary author publications or reports)
  4. CRITFC job application (download at link below)

Contact Casey Justice, Senior Fishery Scientist/Habitat Group Lead, if you would like to ask questions or discuss the position informally before you submit an application.

Submit application form and any additional application materials by email to Include job title in the subject line. We will confirm receipt of your submission.

Hiring preference:
CRITFC implements a tribal preference policy and encourages citizens and descendants of our member tribes (Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama) and other federally recognized tribes to apply.

CRITFC is committed to building a culturally inclusive community and a work environment that respects and inspires every person. Members of historically marginalized groups including women, people of color, those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those who have served in the military, and members of other underrepresented communities are invited to apply.

CRITFC will consider non-citizen applicants who are authorized to work in the U.S. If not authorized to work in the U.S., CRITFC will provide reasonable support and accommodations to the candidate in obtaining U.S. work authorization. With the exception of certain employer required costs, CRITFC will not pay for costs related to applicant’s legal representation, filings for work authorization or immigration, or other costs related to obtaining work authorization.

*Please note: the term “Commission” as used in this description refers to CRITFC’s governing body. CRITFC is a tribal organization that is wholly owned and governed by the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. As a tribal organization, CRITFC is subject to a unique blend of policies and laws.